By Davie Wong
It's week three of PACWEST basketball action for the Royals, and that means it's time for their long awaited home opener! The Royals will have the chance to open their campaign at home this Saturday against the CBC Bearcats.
The Bearcats have been of poor form as of late. Neither of their teams have picked up a win this season. In particular, their women have struggled scoring points against PACWEST competition. The Royals women's team is coming off a strong 2-0 weekend, having defeated the former PACWEST Provincial winner's VIU, and the Camosun Chargers in back to back games.
In particular, Rachel Beauchamp and Ellen Fallis have been sensational for the Royals, putting in huge singular efforts to give their team a leg up on the competition. Something that the team has done superbly under new head coach Steve Beauchamp is rebounding. The team averages about 52 rebounds per game, and the team will need to continue with that play if they want to keep up with the Bearcats, who average about 53 rebounds per game.
Specifically, the team will need to be keep a close eye of the Bearcat's first year forward, Mikayla Starman. In two games, the 5'9 freshman has snagged 20 rebounds, averaging 10 per game. The Royals have their own rebounding machine in Rachel Beauchamp. Number 23 has been an absolute monster on the post for her team, picking up ball after ball. She leads the PACWEST in rebounds and rebounds per game with a total of 40 in three games, and an average of 13 rebounds a game.
The difference between the two stars, besides Beauchamp's two years of experience, is Rachel's ability to score and be a dual threat. Beauchamp has 46 points in three games, which is good enough to be the PACWEST's second best scorer, and as well as having the third best average points per game with 15.3 points per game. Numbers don't lie, the Royals are the better team so far this season. But it's going to be a tight matchup nonetheless.
On the men's side, the Royals have had their own struggles this season. Starting the season 0-2, the men picked up their first win of the season last week against the Camosun Chargers. The Bearcats are currently 0-2 on the season, but it isn't for a lack of effort. The Bearcats have an explosive offense that Royals may struggle to match.
However despite their differences, the two teams look quite similar. Much of the Bearcats offense has come from fourth-year guard Elijah Calhoun, and rookie small-forward Jesse Stewart. Likewise, much of the Royals offense has come from Grant Campbell, Malcolm Mensah, and Lambert Pajayon. Both teams have also struggled defensively. We could see a pretty high scoring game when these two go head to head.
The two teams clash this Saturday at home as the Royals look to pick up an undoubtedly hard earned two points. Come out to watch the Royals duke it out at the New Westminster campus gym! The women start the action at 5pm and the men follow it up at 7pm.